Here follows the vision of Abdias. What doom does the Lord God pronounce on Edom? What bruit is this has reached our ears, what embassage has been sent abroad among the nations? Up, march we out to engage him in battle! Sorry the lot I have given you among the peoples of the world, no better than a thing of contempt; yet, dwelling where you do in the clefts of the rocks, you are puffed up with pride; high you have built your throne, and think there is none can drag you down to earth. Build your eyrie high as the eagle, nest, if you will, among the stars, I will yet drag you down thence, the Lord says. Strange, the silence that has fallen upon Edom! Thieves were they, midnight robbers, that had assailed you, at least they had been content to carry off what they had need of; some gleanings at least those vintagers would have left you! But now, see how Esau is ransacked, how all his treasury is rifled! See how the very folk that are in league with you drive you back to your own frontier, your own confederates playing you false, pressing you hard! Stabbed from beneath by boon companions of your own? You are a fool for your pains.
Day of doom, the Lord says, when wise man shall be none in Edom, nor any prudent counsellor on all Esau's hill-side; dismayed the warriors of Teman shall be, till slaughter leaves all the mountains of Esau desolate. What wonder if hopes of yours come to nothing, name of yours perish eternally, that did assail your own brother, with murderous wrong? Have you forgotten the day when you stood aloof, while the enemy disarmed his ranks, while aliens thronged through yonder gates, and parcelled out Jerusalem by lot, yourself making common cause with them?
What, look on idly, when fortune turns against that brother of yours; nay, triumph over Juda's fall, boast of his calamity? He overthrown, and you would find your way in at the gates of my own city; he overthrown, and you would rejoice at his discomfiture; he overthrown, and you would offer him battle? You would take up your post in the breach, and cut off the fugitive, bar the way to the straggler, when all is lost?
Be sure of this, a time is soon coming when the Lord will summon all the nations to their account; then, as you did, it shall be done to you, in your own coin you shall be paid. The cup of vengeance you, my people, have drunk, there on that mountain which is my sanctuary, all the heathen shall drink henceforward; drink, ay, drink deep, and fall into forgetfulness, as if they had never been. But here, on mount Sion, all shall be deliverance, all shall be holiness, and their spoilers the men of Jacob shall despoil. A fire Jacob shall be, a living flame the sons of Joseph, and Esau's race stubble before their onset; the spark once kindled, all shall be consumed, and of Esau's race no memory be left; the Lord decrees it.
Hill-country of Esau shall fall to the southern folk, and Philistia to the men of the plain; all that is Ephraim and Samaria now shall be theirs, and Galaad shall be made over to Benjamin. Warriors of Israel, banished far away, shall hold all the Chanaanite lands, Sarepta their northern frontier; men of Jerusalem, come back from the shores of Bosphorus to claim the cities of the south. No lack of champions Sion shall have, to do justice on the mountains of Edom; and of that empire the Lord himself shall be sovereign ruler.